Whether single, committed, or in any varying degree or type of relationship, there is something to be said for dating yourself. We know what you’re thinking: what does that even mean? It’s exactly what it sounds like! Taking yourself out on a date is one of the best things you can do for your mental health, your confidence, and your happiness. It doesn’t have to be a stop-gap in between relationships, nor does it have to exclusively be for single people. It is a simple concept, not unlike self-care, with a more focused approach on traditionally social or romantic activities. It’s an opportunity to explore interests and hobbies on your own, to learn more about yourself, and to foster your independence. Think of it as an expression of love for yourself, and a nurturing of happiness from within.
You may be new to the concept, or perhaps uncomfortable with the idea of venturing out on your own, and like a romantic relationship, you may choose to start out slow or dive right in. There is no right or wrong way to begin, so jump in where you are comfortable and get started.
While the weather is still beautiful, one of our favourite ways to spend time with ourselves is to have a picnic. Pack a lunch or snack for one, your favourite drink, a good book, and a cozy blanket. Once you’ve settled in, lay back and let the clouds roll by. Enjoy the scenery, breathe the fresh air. This is a time to intentionally slow down and allow yourself to simply exist in the moments. The beauty of this type of date is the non-committal and casual nature of it. It is lighthearted, simple, and relaxed. This can bring you in tune with your breathing, allowing you to reduce stress and create moments of mindfulness.
Taking in a local museum or gallery can be an amazing way to connect with your creative side. A quiet and peaceful space by design, it is a great opportunity to appreciate local artists and curators, while supporting your community's art scene. It has been suggested that viewing art can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. There is even indication that beautiful art can trigger the same response as falling in love - a release of dopamine into the brain.
One of the greatest confidence boosters can be to simply go out looking great. Have a relaxing hot shower, do your hair & makeup (if that's something you enjoy), put on the outfit you feel the best in, and take yourself out on the town! Heading to a local wine bar for a glass of merlot or enjoying a fine dining meal for one while looking your best can’t help but make you feel incredible. Of course, if you have more than one favourite outfit (and seriously, who doesn’t?) create even more opportunities to flaunt them.
We are conditioned to believe that most activities are best enjoyed with others. This may be the reason why so many people find it intimidating to date themselves. By overcoming that initial sense of trepidation, we can open ourselves up to new and rewarding experiences. If anything, it can be a precursor to future happy relationships, whether the person you end up with is a partner, or yourself. But in the meantime, you may just find out that you’re the one.
Until next time,
Stray & Wander